Jamming 500 pages into about 100 minutes is no small task. Corners need to be cut; corners that rarely go missed by die-hard book readers.
In almost all cases, it’s best to view the movie as a separate entity from the books- no expectations, no disappointment. If you want to recreate the experience of reading the book….read the book.
Here are 10 books that beat the crap out of their movie counterparts.
‘The Scarlet Letter’ by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Review from The New York Times: “If you have heard anything about this film, you probably know the film makers have added a happy ending. As it turns out, they have also changed the beginning, the middle and the very essence of the book.”
‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ by Douglas Adams
Review from MovieCrypt: “In the end, The Hitchhiker’s Guide is a British comedy written by a British author populated by British actors, then severely tarnished by treating it like an American idea.”
‘Sense and Sensibility’ by Jane Austen
Reviewer’s take on From from Jam! Movies: “Hear that funny swooshing noise? That’s the sound of Jane Austen spinning in her grave.”
‘Gulliver’s Travels’ by Jonathan Swift
Review from The Washington Post: “The movie, by the way, is in 3-D. Other than enhancing the bathroom humor, it doesn’t help.”
‘The Cat in the Hat’ by Dr. Seuss
Review from USA Today: “As silly as all the contrivances are, the real disappointment is Myers’ human-size cat, who is a fast-talking, self-centered, litigious annoyance instead of the nutty, endearingly childlike fun-seeker he was on the page.”
‘The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen’ (comic book series)
Review from Chicago Reader: “I don’t know the comic book series, but it could hardly be as lifeless as this leaden adaptation, in which the weapons have more personality than the characters and the nonstop action often feels like no action at all.”
‘The Iliad’ by Homer
Review from New York Magazine: “Homer’s unpitying recitation of war’s awful allure is rendered as a series of confused skirmishes, and the Trojan horse looks like a gigantic wicker objet d’art.”
‘Ella Enchanted’ by Gail Carson Levine
Review from Boston Globe: “The producers of ‘Ella Enchanted’ probably assume, correctly, that many more kids haven’t read the book than have, and they’re out to give that audience a slick, shallow good time. They forget that you don’t have to have read a book to recognize a sell-out when you see it.”
‘Hellblazer’ (comic book series)
Review from Variety: “Indeed, whatever meticulous plotting might have gone into the novel, the movie too often seems to be conjuring up twists as it goes along. By the time the climactic sequence arrives, even Satan himself (a well-cast Peter Stormare) can’t generate the heat required to salvage things.”
‘As I Lay Dying’ by William Faulkner
Review from New York Post: “I don’t pretend to have a clue how to adapt William Faulkner’s ‘As I Lay Dying’ for the screen, but unlike James Franco, I, at least, didn’t try.”